Texas’ jobless rate is lowest ever at 3.5 percent

MGN Online

HARLINGEN — The Texas jobless rate dropped to 3.5 percent in May, the lowest recorded number since unemployment tracking began 46 years ago, the Texas Workforce Commission reports.

The state economy added 19,600 jobs for the month in seasonally adjusted non-farm positions. The previous record jobless rate was 3.7 percent set in April 2019.

In the Valley, the Brownsville-Harlingen Metropolitan Statistical Area saw its rate fall to 4.6 percent from 4.7 percent in April. One year ago, the Brownsville-Harlingen area’s rate was 5.9 percent.

The remarkably low jobless rate in the Brownsville-Harlingen MSA indicates the area is at what is practically referred to as full employment. Experts on the job market say anything at 5 percent and under means all who want to work are employed.

In the McAllen-Edinburg-Mission MSA, the May jobless rate was unchanged for May at 5.0 percent. A year ago it stood at 6.0 percent.

In the Corpus Christi MSA, the May rate was unchanged at 3.6 percent but still down from the 4.7 percent rate from a year ago.

In the San Antonio-New Braunfels MSA, the jobless rate plunged to just 2.6 percent for May, which is down from 3.1 percent in April. That 3.1 percent was the same rate as a year ago.

“Today I am especially proud to be a Texan. Our historically low unemployment rate is excellent news for Texas workers,” said Julian Alvarez, TWC commissioner representing labor. “As more Texans find stable employment they are able to invest in their communities and future generations of Texas workers.”

Professional and Business Services led all major industries in gains for the month of May, adding 8,100 jobs. Education and Health Services added 4,500 over the month while Construction added 3,300 jobs

The Midland MSA recorded May’s lowest unemployment rate in the state with a rate of 1.7 percent, followed by the Amarillo and Odessa MSAs, which recorded 2.1 percent for the second-lowest rate.

Texas jobless rates

May 2019     April 2019     May 2018

Brownsville-Harlingen       4.6 percent       4.7 percent       5.9 percent

McAllen-Edin-Mission 5.0 percent       5.0 percent 6.0 percent

San Antonio-New Brn   2.6 percent       2.6 percent       3.1 percent

Corpus Christi        3.6 percent       3.6 percent       4.7 percent

Source: Non-seasonally adjusted rates from Texas Workforce Commission

rkelley@valleystar.com